Faculty & Research
IU Research & Teaching Preserve
- Contact Information
- Contact Angie Shelton by anshelto [at] indiana [dot] edu
- By telephone: 855-1674
- By fax: 812-855-6705
- JH 159E
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz, 2002
B.A., Earlham College, 1994
My research interests are in community ecology and species interactions, particularly between plants and animals. My current research is primarily focused on topics of local conservation importance in Indiana forests. I combine field observations and experiments, greenhouse experiments, and computational and GIS modeling to try to understand complex species interactions and their consequences on communities.
Ecological Effects of Deer on Forests
White-tailed deer are very abundant in many Midwestern forests. Because they lack any natural predators, they can reach high population densities and can dramatically effect the plants and other aspects of forest communities. We are exploring the hypothesis that deer act as a keystone species in forests where they are highly abundant. We have established several deer exclosures at three IU Research and Teaching Preserve properties. We are comparing the communities inside and outside these fences, including herbaceous and woody plants, nutrient dynamics, arbuscular mycchorizae (AMF) communities, and soil conditions. We are also examining how these effects scale up in the communities by testing usage of the fenced and unfenced areas by mice, salamanders, and ticks. Our results to date reveal a very strong effect of deer altering the forest community.